* This commentary was written by Comrade Mao Tse-tung for the Hsinhua News Agency. It pointed out that the march of events in China was faster than people had expected and called upon the people to prepare speedily all necessary conditions for the country-wide victory of the Chinese revolution. This prediction was soon confirmed. Both this commentary and "The Concept of Operations for the Northwest War Theatre" were written at Wangchiawan, Chingpien County, northern Shensi.
rule. People are now witnessing the rapid collapse of both these instruments.
On every battlefield Chiang Kai-shek's army has met with defeat. About ninety brigades of his regular troops alone have been wiped out in the eleven months since last July. His troops no longer display the overweening pride of last year when they occupied Changchun, Chengteh, Changchiakou, Hotse, Huaiyin and Antung, or even of this year when they occupied Linyi and Yenan. Chiang Kai-shek and Chen Cheng made a wrong appraisal of the strength and fighting methods of the People's Liberation Army. Mistaking our retreats for cowardice and our abandonment of a number of cities for defeats, they had fondly hoped to finish us off south of the Great Wall in three months or at most six, and then proceed to finish us off in the Northeast. But after ten months, all Chiang Kai-shek's invading troops are in desperate straits; they are completely besieged by the people of the Liberated Areas and the People's Liberation Army and find it very difficult to escape.
As more and more news of the defeats of Chiang Kai-shek's troops at the front reaches his rear areas, the broad masses of the people there, suffocating under the oppression of his reactionary government, see more and more hope of ending their sufferings and winning their emancipation. At this very time, all Chiang Kai-shek's political tricks are failing as fast as he plays them. Everything has gone against the expectations of the reactionaries. Such steps as convening a "National Assembly" to adopt a "constitution", reorganizing the one-party government into a "multi-party government" and what not, were originally aimed at isolating the Communist Party and other democratic forces. They have produced the opposite result; it is not the Communist Party or any other democratic forces that are isolated but the reactionaries themselves. After this the Chinese people know from their own experience what Chiang Kai-shek's "National Assembly", "constitution" and "multi-party government" really are. Previously, many Chinese people, mainly those of the middle strata, had illusions to a greater or lesser extent about these manoeuvres of Chiang Kai-shek. It is the same with his "peace negotiations". Now that Chiang Kai-shek has torn several solemn truce agreements to shreds and used bayonets against the student masses demanding peace and opposing civil war, nobody will any longer believe in his so-called peace negotiations except those bent on deceiving people or those absolutely inexperienced politically.
All events have proved our appraisal to be correct. We have repeatedly pointed out that the Chiang Kai-shek government is nothing but a government of treason, civil war and dictatorship. It seeks to wipe out the Chinese Communist Party and all other democratic forces by civil war in order to turn China into a U.S. colony and maintain its own dictatorial rule. Because it has adopted these reactionary policies, this government has lost all prestige and strength politically. The power of the Chiang Kai-shek government is only temporary and superficial; in fact, it is a government outwardly strong but inwardly weak. Its offensives can be smashed no matter where or on what fronts they are launched. Its inevitable end will be rebellion by the masses, desertion by its followers and the total destruction of its army. All events have borne out and will continue to bear out the correctness of this appraisal.
The march of events in China is faster than people expected. On the one hand, there are the victories of the People's Liberation Army; on the other, there is the advance of the people's struggle in the areas under Chiang Kai-shek's control; both are moving at high speed. The Chinese people should quickly prepare all the necessary conditions for the establishment of a peaceful, democratic and independent new China.
After December 1946 the democratic and patriotic movement of the broad masses of students in the Kuomintang areas against hunger, civil war and persecution gathered new momentum with the development of the People's War of Liberation and gradually became a second front in the struggle against Chiang Kai-shek's reactionary rule. In late December 1946 and early January 1947, more than 500,000 students in scores of big and medium cities, including Peiping, Tientsin, Shanghai and Nanking, went on strike and held demonstrations in protest against the atrocity of the raping of a Peking University girl student perpetrated by U.S. soldiers and demanded the withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from China. This struggle won the immediate support of workers, teachers and other people. On May 4, 1947, students in Shanghai demonstrated against the civil war. At the same time eight thousand workers and students besieged the Kuomintang police headquarters. The patriotic movement soon spread to Nanking, Peiping, Hangchow, Shenyang, Tsingtao, Kaifeng and many other cities. The Kuomintang reactionaries resorted to extremely brutal measures to suppress the students' patriotic and democratic movement. On May 20 more than a hundred students were wounded and arrested in Nanking and Tientsin in the notorious "Bloody Incident of May 20th". Nevertheless, the patriotic student movement, supported by the broad masses of the people, could not be quelled. The
students' strikes and demonstrations under the slogan, "Against Hunger, Against Civil War, Against Persecution", and the people's anti-U.S. and anti-Chiang Kai-shek struggles, such as strikes of workers and teachers, spread to more than sixty large and medium cities. In May 1948 the students in Shanghai, together with cultural workers, journalists, and people from other walks of life, started a patriotic movement against the revival of the Japanese forces of aggression fostered by the United States, a movement which also spread rapidly to many other cities. The patriotic struggles of the students never ceased until the country-wide victory; they struck heavy blows at the Kuomintang.
Promulgated on May 18, 1947 by the Chiang Kai-shek government, these measures strictly prohibited the presentation of petitions by more than ten persons together and forbade all strikes by workers and students and all demonstrations. They also authorized the Kuomintang local authorities to take "necessary steps" and "emergency measures" for the sanguinary suppression of the patriotic and democratic movements of the people.
On May 4, 1919, students in Peking demonstrated against the handing over to Japan of many of China's sovereign rights in Shantung by Britain, the United States, France, Japan, Italy and other imperialist countries then in conference in Paris. This student movement evoked an immediate response throughout the country. After June 3, it developed into a country-wide anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolutionary movement embracing large numbers of the proletariat, the urban petty bourgeoisie and even the national bourgeoisie.